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Books Received, January 27th — February 2

3 Feb, 2024


Ad Astra v1

Mutant Year Zero: Ad Astra by Jens Alm et al (February 2024)

Ad Astra is a thrilling campaign module for Mutant: Year Zero that takes the player characters from the devastated surface of Earth into orbit, out into the solar system, and perhaps further still. Ad Astra can be played stand-alone or as a direct continuation of the Path to Eden campaign in the Mutant: Year Zero core rulebook.

The book also includes rules for playing Mutant: Year Zero in space and an overview of the solar system with ideas for further adventures.

Those Who Dwell in Mordenhyrst Hall

Those Who Dwell in Mordenhyrst Hall by Catherine Cavendish (February 2024

A new historical chiller from terrifying pen of Catherine Cavendish…Evil runs deep at Mordenhyrst Hall… When Grace first sets eyes on the imposing Gothic Mordenhyrst Hall, she is struck with an overwhelming sense that something doesn’t want her there. Her fiancé’s sister heads a coterie of Bright Young Things whose frivolous lives hide a sinister intent. Simon, Grace’s fiancé, is not the man she fell in love with, and the local villagers eye her with suspicion that borders on malevolence. 

Her friend, Coralie, possesses the ability to communicate with powerful spirits. She convinces Grace of her own paranormal gifts – gifts Grace will need to draw deeply on as the secrets of Mordenhyrst Hall begin to unravel. 

Relics of Ruin

Relics of Ruin by Erin M. Evans (April 2024)

From a rising star in epic fantasy comes the captivating second novel in a trilogy featuring an unlikely team who must find a way to work together and solve an empire-spanning mystery to defend the last place they call home. The conspiracy at the heart of the empire has been revealed. The Archivists played a key role in solving a brutal murder and uncovering one of the empire’s longest kept secrets. Now, what’s left in its wake are a series of unearthed artifacts, one shaken city, and the shocking truth not dared spoken aloud. Just as the empire has begun to regain normalcy, another mystery unveils itself when a stolen ancient relic is found. Only no one knew that it was missing from its sacred vault in the first place. And now that the real one has been recovered, who replaced it with a fake? With Quill and Amadea at the heart of another mystery, they will need to quickly follow the clues that all lead back to this new relic. Because all the while, an old enemy is gathering strength beyond the Salt Wall and the Archivists might come to find there’s nowhere left for them to go but over. 

An Education in Malice

An Education in Malice by S. T. Gibson (February 2024)

Deep in the forgotten hills of Massachusetts stands Saint Perpetua’s College. Isolated and ancient, it is not a place for timid girls. Here, secrets are currency, ambition is lifeblood, and strange ceremonies welcome students into the fold. On her first day of class, Laura Sheridan is thrust into an intense academic rivalry with the beautiful and enigmatic Carmilla. Together, they are drawn into the confidence of their demanding poetry professor, De Lafontaine, who holds her own dark obsession with Carmilla. But as their rivalry blossoms into something far more delicious, Laura must confront her own strange hungers. Tangled in a sinister game of politics, bloodthirsty professors and magic, Laura and Carmilla must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice in their ruthless pursuit of knowledge. 

The Heart of Winter

The Heart of Winter by Shona Kinsella (April 2024)

When Brigit is faced with a forced marriage to Aengus, god of Summer, she flees into the highlands in search of the Cailleach, the Queen of Winter. There, she hopes to learn how to live on her own terms, without the need for a man to speak for her, but can she persuade the Cailleach that she is worthy? Caught between two gods and finding an unlikely ally in the Fae witch, Nicnevin, Brigit will be tested to her limits and beyond.

A Song to Drown Rivers A Novel

A Song to Drown Rivers by Ann Liang (October 2024)

Inspired by the legend of Xishi, one of the famous Four Beauties of Ancient China, A Song to Drown Rivers is an epic historical fantasy about womanhood, war, sacrifice, and love against all odds as the fate of two kingdoms hangs in a delicate balance. Her beauty hides a deadly purpose. Xishi’s beauty is seen as a blessing to the villagers of Yue — convinced that the best fate for a girl is to marry well and support her family. When Xishi draws the attention of the famous young military advisor, Fanli, he presents her with a rare opportunity: to use her beauty as a weapon. One that could topple the rival neighboring kingdom of Wu, improve the lives of her people, and avenge her sister’s murder. All she has to do is infiltrate the enemy palace as a spy, seduce their immoral king, and weaken them from within. 

Trained by Fanli in everything from classical instruments to concealing emotion, Xishi hones her beauty into the perfect blade. But she knows Fanli can see through every deception she masters, the attraction between them burning away any falsehoods. 

Once inside the enemy palace, Xishi finds herself under the hungry gaze of the king’s advisors while the king himself shows her great affection. Despite his gentleness, a brutality lurks and Xishi knows she can never let her guard down. But the higher Xishi climbs in the Wu court, the farther she and Fanli have to fall — and if she is unmasked as a traitor, she will bring both kingdoms down. 

Locus February 2024

Locus, February 2024 published by Locus Publications (February 2024)

The Magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Field 

Finding Echoes

Finding Echoes by Foz Meadows (January 2024)

Snow Kidama speaks to ghosts amongst the local gangs of Charybdis Precinct, isolated from the rest of New Arcadia by the city’s ancient walls. But when his old lover, Gem — a man he thought dead — shows up in need of his services, Snow is forced to reevaluate everything. Snow and Gem must navigate not only a city on the edge of collapse, but also their feelings for each other

One Eye Opened in That Other Place

One Eye Opened in That Other Place by Christi Nogle (March 2024

Christi Nogle has established herself as a modern Ray Bradbury, this collection adds fantasy, slipstream, and fabulism to her canon.

One Eye Opened in That Other Place collects Christi Nogle’s best weird and fantastical stories. The collection focuses on liminal spaces and the borders between places and states of mind. Though you might not find a traditional portal fantasy here, you will travel across thresholds and arrive at other places and times that are by turns disquieting, terrifying, and wonderful. Get up close with the local flora and fauna, peruse the weird art exhibits and special shows, and consider taking a dip in the mossy, snail-filled tank of water. Make sure to bring your special glasses

This new collection will appeal to readers of Jeff VanderMeer, Charles Wilkinson, Steve Rasnic Tem, M. Rickert, Lynda E. Rucker and Stephen King’s novel Lisey’s Story. 


Jubilee by Stephen K. Stanford (February 2024)

In a lawless, artificial world existing within its own parallel universe there’s a seething cesspool of vice ruled by an eccentric AI…It was meant to be an in and out mission… Jubilee is a lawless, artificial world existing within its own parallel universe; a seething cesspool of vice ruled by an eccentric AI.So they say. 

Detectives Col and Danee are sent to Jubilee on a hastily organized mission to recover the body of a leading conservative politician (someone it seems, has been a naughty boy). But the corpse has been switched and the imperiled partners are drawn together. They might be falling in love, or they might be saving the galaxy – either way the authorities will not be pleased. 

The Doors of Midnight

The Doors of Midnight by R. R. Virdi (August 2024)

Some stories are hidden for a reason. All tales have a price. And every debt must be paid. 

I killed three men as a child and earned the name Bloodletter. Then I set fire to the fabled Ashram. I’ve been a bird and robbed a merchant king of a ransom of gold. And I have crossed desert sands and cutthroat alleys to repay my debt. 

I’ve stood before the eyes of god, faced his judgement, and cast aside the thousand arrows that came with it. And I have passed through the Doors of Midnight and lived to tell the tale. 

I have traded one hundred and one stories with a creature as old as time, and survived with only my cleverness, a candle, and a broken promise. 

And most recently of all, I have killed a prince, though the stories say I have killed more than one. 

My name is Ari. These are my legends. 

And these are my lies. 

Lord of the Feast

Lord of the Feast by Tim Waggoner (April 2024)

Readers of Clive Barker’s The Great and Secret Show, Laird Barron’s The Croning or Steve Rasnic Tem’s Blood Kin will love this new Tim Waggoner chillerTwenty years ago, a cult attempted to create their own god: The Lord of the Feast. The god was a horrible, misbegotten thing, however, and the cultists killed the creature before it could come into its full power. The cultists trapped the pieces of their god inside mystic nightstones then went their separate ways. Now Kate, one of the cultists’ children, seeks out her long-lost relatives, hoping to learn the truth of what really happened on that fateful night. Unknown to Kate, her cousin Ethan is following her, hoping she’ll lead him to the nightstones so that he might resurrect the Lord of the Feast – and this time, Ethan plans to do the job right. 

The Dark Issue 105

The Dark Issue 105 edited by Sean Wallace (February 2024)

The Magazine of Dark Fantasy. 

The Hemlock Queen

The Hemlock Queen by Hannah Whitten (April 2024)

In the second installment of New York Times bestselling author Hannah Whitten’s lush romantic epic fantasy series, the glittering and dangerous world of the Sainted King’s royal court is upended when Prince Bastian seizes control and a mysterious dark force begins to take over. The corrupt king August is dead. Prince Bastian has seized the throne and raised Lore — a necromancer and former smuggler — to his right-hand side. Together they plan to cut out the rot from the heart of the royal court and help the people of Dellaire. But not everyone is happy with the changes. The nobles are sowing dissent, the Kirythean Empire is beating down their door, and Lore’s old allies are pulling away. Even Prince Bastian has changed. No longer the hopeful, rakish, charismatic man Lore knows and loves, instead he’s become reckless, domineering, and cold. And something has been whispering in her ear. A voice, dark and haunting, that’s telling her there’s more to the story than she knows and more to her power than she can even imagine. A truth buried deep that could change everything. With Bastian’s coronation fast approaching and enemies whispering on all sides, Lore must figure out how to protect herself, her prince, and her country before they all come crumbling down and whatever dark power has been creeping through the catacombs is unleashed.